The local chapter of the Sherlock Holmes Society will soon hold its 8th annual meeting. It’s elementary because it’s the sleuth’s birthday!



Once a year across the globe from New York to Bangkok, New Zealand to Finland, the Sherlock Holmes clubs meet to do honor to the immortal sleuth. There are estimated to be more than 1,020 clubs worldwide, and we have our own, the Emerald Coast Beach Hounds, located in Walton County, which is in the official listing.



This will be the eighth year for this unusual assembly, entitled the “Beach Hounds,” whose members never tire of anything that Holmes or Dr. Watson are involved in.



Each year prominent law enforcement, private detectives, and government agents are chosen for the prestigious Holmes Award.



This year’s award winner and guest speaker is John T. Andrews, who is a United States Homeland Foreign Counter and Domestic Intelligence Specialist and a teacher at Florida State University. He will delve into a suspicious death of a U.S. assistant attorney from the Attorney General’s office.



The swearing in of new Sherlock Holmes’ members is one of humorous highlights with other “secret” events and prizes to be presented. Dress code is “casually smart” and Sherlockian costumes are encouraged.



Most Sherlock Holmes’ Clubs have no dues or membership requirements, however many societies limit the number of participants. The “Beach Hounds” can be found on the national listing website, “Sherlockian,” and the headquarters is located in New York under the name “Baker Street Irregulars.”



All societies have names from Sherlock Holmes adventures, such as “Memphis Giant Rats of Sumatra,” Boston’s “The Speckled Band Society,” or Tokyo, Japan’s “Adventure of the Empty House Club.”



When first organized, the “Baker Street Irregulars” was formed in New York in 1950 and the concept spread like wildfire. Most groups were at first males only, but the women were not to be denied and crashed the affairs. Now most societies are one big happy family. But still there are those closed societies that are extremely eccentric.



The “Beach Hounds,” named after the “Hound of the Baskervilles,” cordially invite Holmes enthusiasts for an evening of unusual adventure.



"It’s like no other meeting you have ever attended," said Chick Huettel, a Sun columnist and the “Beach Hounds" president. "With the new movies and TV series of Sherlock Holmes this year, I think we may be overwhelmed with guests and new member initiations … and they won’t be disappointed.”



The meeting will be held at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club (The Vue Restaurant) at 4801 West County Road 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. It is an “adult” affair due to the nature of real life criminal events. Mark your calendar for Monday, Feb. 24. The social hour starts at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.; and the guest speaker at 7 p.m. Call the Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club at 850-267-1240 for reservations as there is limited seating. The cost is $20 per person which includes a full dinner with a cash bar.



For further information, email beachounds@gmail.com.